Today’s post is written by Rudolf Van der Berg of the OECD’s Science, Technology and Industry Directorate.
In 2012 the only submarine fibre optic cable that then connected Benin with global telecommunication networks and the Internet was cut for two weeks. International payments were not possible and the equivalent of 150,000 weekly salaries were not available in a country of 10 million people. The influence was particularly severe because most servers are located outside the country due to a lack of data centres and local-hosting facilities. Though similar cable cuts happen on average twice a week, their effects are generally less. This is due to the fact that most countries are connected to multiple submarine fibre-cables, connect overland to neighbouring countries, and have domestic data centres. More...
Today’s post is written by Rudolf Van der Berg of the OECD’s Science, Technology and Industry Directorate.
By Brian Keeley. Visitors to Paris may have noticed that it can be hard to find a taxi. Lately, there have been days when it was impossible. The explanation? A strike.
Before you roll your eyes, it’s worth taking a moment to hear what’s riling the taxi-drivers. Yes, in many ways this feels like the sort of dispute we’re used to around here – shouting, blocked streets, frustrated travellers. But it also reflects issues that are playing out in many other parts of the world and that can be summed up in a word: regulation.
The roots of the dispute date back to 2009, when France licensed a new sort of taxi, a “passenger vehicle with chauffeur,” or VTC. These VTCs operate under rules similar to those covering “mini-cabs” in the United Kingdom: You can call one to pick you up at home, but – unlike a regular taxi – you can’t hail one in the street. More...
By Marilyn Achiron Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills. Does where you come from really tell you anything about where you’re going? When it comes to parents’ occupations and students’ performance, the answer is a qualified ‘yes’ – but it also depends on where, geographically, you go to school.
Intrigued? PISA is unveiling a web-based, interactive tool (occupations@pisa2012) that allows anyone to explore and compare the relationship between student performance in reading, mathematics and science and parents’ occupations in PISA-participating countries and economies. Read more...
By Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD's Secretary General. I spent two days in Hiroshima, discussing education reform and global policy trends with prefectural leaders and the academic community. This city, target of a simply unimaginable attack on human mankind 59 years ago, is now the birthplace of some of the World’s most innovative education policies and practices. More...
By Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin and Alfonso Echazarra, CERI Innovation Strategy, Directorate for Education and Skills. India has been hailed for being a laboratory of frugal and inclusive innovations. The Tata Nano, the cheapest car in the world, the Aravind Eye Care Hospitals, which fight “avoidable blindness” by giving cheap or free state-of-the-art eye surgery to poor Indians, or the Bharti Airtel, which offers low-rate phone calls, thanks to an innovative business model, are often-cited examples of innovations that make valuable products and services affordable to deprived populations. Just glance at the Honey Bee Network database and you will find a plethora of interesting initiatives targeted to the Indian poor: from the Mitticool, a natural refrigerator made entirely from clay that requires no energy, to the Washing and Exercise Machine, a mechanical, semi-automated, pedal operated washing machine for clothes, the jugaad spirit is ubiquitous. More...
We know that education is a key component of individual well-being. Developing skills is valuable for people as it responds to their aspiration to learn and to their need to respond to the changing environment. With most people aged 25-64 in OECD countries now holding at least an upper secondary degree and today’s 5-year-olds expected to notch up at least 17 years of study, it is perhaps a good time to ask: What makes an education that promotes well-being?
Join an online discussion on:
Experiences in Latin America: kindergarten, primary, secondary/technical and university
Finishes at 22:00, 25 February 2014
The discussion will focus on the following questions:
- In Latin America, what does it mean to have an education that promotes well-being and improves quality of life? Do we need to go beyond the concept of human capital?
- What are the characteristics of an education model that promotes well-being?
- What community programmes, social experiments and public policies are currently being conducted in Latin America that help foster education models which promote well-being?
- What extra efforts are needed in order to construct education models that promote well-being? Who should be responsible for designing and implementing them?
Leave your comments in Spanish, Portuguese, English or French under the section entitled “Contribuye” on the discussion webpage. To participate, click here.
This is the link to the page: bit.ly/1fohFHx and the hashtags in Twitter are #teachlearn and #EducaciónDeCalidad.
1. Improve access to data
“Equal opportunities” and “success for all” are the fundamental objectives of France’s education policy, and are legally recognised principles (law no.89-486 of 10 July 1989 and law no.2005-380 of 23 April 2005, law no.2013-595 of 8 July 2013).
A variety of schemes exist to ensure greater equality of opportunities among young people, some of which have been designed for schoolchildren with special educational needs due to major difficulties likely to compromise their access to the public education service: disabled pupils, pupils newly arrived in France, children of non-sedentary families (or “travelling children”) and imprisoned juveniles. Intellectually precocious children also come into this category. Taken together, such children only account for a small percentage of the overall school population, and each group is the subject of highly specific measures.
Other schemes of a different nature have been implemented to provide support for all pupils from disadvantaged socioeconomic milieus. They account for around 20% of the total school population and, since the 1980s, have been the subject of a specially designed support policy: the “priority education policy”. New mesures have been annonced in January 2014 aiming at renforcing the "priority education policy" - please refer to section 12.3.
Below is a brief glimpse at the main educational support policies, along with legislative and regulatory references.
Schoolchildren/students recognised as having special educational needs
Disabled pupils/students. The law of 11 February 2005 bearing on equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of the disabled sets out the legal framework for provision of educational support to the disabled (schoolchildren, students and adults). At primary and secondary levels, disabled children/teenagers can either be educated in the usual school environment, under specially adapted conditions, or in a collective system (CLIS and UPI). Under the supervision of their teachers, they work towards the objectives provided for in their “personalised schooling projects” (PPS – projet personnalisé de scolarisation) drawn up by a team of professionals (physicians, psychologists, trainers, etc.) and taking account of the needs, hopes and wishes of the children/teenagers concerned and their parents. In cases where schooling in the usual environment is not possible, medico-social structures take overall responsibility for pupils. Disabled schoolchildren who wish to continue on to higher education can go on benefiting from an individual project, under the same conditions as in their secondary schooling. All universities implement specific actions designed to foster intake of disabled students (accessibility of premises, pedagogical aids, sign-language interpreters, etc.) and to set the scene for their professional integration upon completion of their education.
Law no. 2013-595 of 8 July 2013 asserts the principle of school inclusion for all children, with no distinction. The enrolment of disabled pupils in ordinary school settings is progressing and must be encouraged. To put into practice the principle of school inclusion in classrooms, the Government has planned to increase human resources: 1,500 auxiliaire de vie scolaire individuel (AVS-i: special needs assistant providing individual help) jobs with education assistant status had already been created at the start of the 2012/2013 school year. In 2013, 350 new AVS-i have been recruited, along with 8,000 additional contrats aidés (assisted contracts). Moreover, the Department for National Education will suggest that those AVS contracts employed with education assistant status having completed six years of work and acquired skills during training be turned into permanent contracts. Potentially, 28,000 people will therefore be concerned over the years to come. This measure will put an end to insecure professional situations and to intermittent support for disabled pupils – a cause for concern for these children and their parents alike.
Intellectually precocious children. Article 27 of the guidance and planning law for the future of school of 23 April 2005 reaffirms the necessity of meeting the special needs of intellectually precocious children. Such children are educated in the usual school environment; when they begin to show signs of behavioural or learning difficulties, a personalised programme for educational success (PPRE – programme personnalisé de réussite éducative) can be put into action in collaboration with the family.
Pupils newly arrived in France and travelling children. In the 1970s, special measures were taken to integrate and educate children newly arrived in France and for whom insufficient mastery of the French language or of subjects taught prevented their benefiting from attending classes teaching the normal curriculum. Law no. 2013-595 of 8 July 2013 asserts the principle of school inclusion for all children, with no distinction.
Such pupils are temporarily schooled in special classes (CLIN, CRI, CLA-NSA and CLA) where they receive instruction in French as a second language and in the basic knowledge covered by the scholastic level they are in. Ministerial Circular no.2002-100 of 25 April 2002 specifies the ways in which this category of pupils is to be enrolled and schooled. As with all other children aged between 6 and 16, the children of non-sedentary parents are subject to compulsory education between six and sixteen years of age. They have the right to schooling, whatever the duration or conditions of their stay in one place, and in compliance with the same rules – regular attendance in particular. Two circulars were published on 11 October 2012: one on organising the schooling of newly arrived non-French-speaking children, and the other on organising academic centres for the schooling of newly arrived non-French-speaking children and children from Traveller families (Casnav).
These circulars set the principles intended to:
- crack down on discrimination;
- harmonise welcome procedures;
- guarantee that the Common Base of Knowledge, Skills and Culture is acquired;
- take into consideration the multilingual wealth of these children.
Imprisoned juveniles. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice and Liberties work in partnership to ensure that imprisoned juveniles have access to education. In particular, such partnerships are formalised by contract under the agreement signed on 29 March 2002, which defines the educational needs of the prison population, the goals of courses taught, and the administrative organisation of the educational system. This latter is largely the responsibility of National Education teachers on loan to prison authorities and is carried out at closed educational centres (CEF – centres éducatifs fermés) where a watch is kept over the minors concerned.
Pupils from disadvantaged socioeconomic milieus (priority education)
Since the 1980s, such pupils have been the subject of a priority education policy, which relies on positive discrimination in the use of public means at the service of equal opportunities. Institutions with a high concentration of social and school attendance problems to deal with are organised into networks – ÉCLAIR networks (écoles, collèges et lycées pour l’ambition, l’innovation et la réussite: primary schools, lycées and collèges for ambition, innovation and success) and RRS networks (réseaux de réussite scolaire: networks for scholastic success) – and base their actions around a shared pedagogical project in agreement with the academic authorities.
the studies conducted by the Department for Education (Depp) reveal that the pupils enrolled in the schools targeted by this policy are those who continue to suffer from the greatest learning difficulties (Depp, Note d’information n° 13.07, mai 2013). Moreover, international comparative surveys have found that the gap between the academic performance of these pupils and those of the more advantaged pupils is particularly profound in France. PISA 2012 results illustrate France is the OECD country in which a pupil’s socio-economic background is most likely to determine their academic performance and that this situation has deteriorated since 2003. In light of this situation, and following a consultation with the relevant stakeholders, the Minister of Education decided to reform the manner in which the “priority education policy”, is implemented (eligibility criteria, responsibilities, funding ...). The new mesures, annonced by the Minister in January 2014, are presented in section 12.3.
The French education system also provides for guidance schemes operating throughout the schooling period, which play their part in contributing to the educational objective of “success for all”. Providing guidance is one of the essential responsibilities incumbent upon schools. With the 2005 guidance and planning law for the future of schools, it has become explicitly linked to compulsory schooling through the common core’s “Autonomy and Initiative” skill: learning to be autonomous is seen as an essential part of scholastic success – the capacity for adapting to social and professional change and the imperatives of lifelong education.
With regard to higher education, law no.2007-1199 of 10 August 2007 entrusts institutions with the task of guiding their students towards professional integration, and ensuring their entry into the world of work. The law no.2013-660 of 22 July 2013 fixed the conditions to improve the guidance system from school to higher education - please refer to section 14.3.
L’enseignement supérieur répond à des objectifs généraux d’élévation du niveau scientifique, culturel et professionnel de la nation et des individus qui la composent, dans un souci de réduction des inégalités sociales et d’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes ; de développement de la recherche ; et enfin, de construction de l'Espace européen de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, dans une perspective de coopération internationale ( articles L 123-2 à 123-9 du code de l’éducation).
Le système d’enseignement supérieur français est marqué par la coexistence d'une pluralité d'établissements qui se partagent la formation supérieure. Ils appartiennent à des catégories juridiques différentes, définies dans le code de l’éducation (livre VII ) :
- Les établissements publics à caractère scientifique, culturel et professionnel (universités, grands établissements, écoles normales supérieures…) ;
- Les établissements à caractère administratif placés sous la tutelle du ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (écoles nationales supérieures d'ingénieurs, instituts d’études politiques de province…) ;
- Les établissements d’enseignement supérieur spécialisés, publics ou privés (écoles de gestion et de commerce, écoles d’architecture, établissements d’enseignement supérieur agricole et vétérinaire, grandes écoles scientifiques, établissements d’enseignement supérieur de la musique, de la danse et du théâtre, instituts catholiques…).
Ces établissements dispensent des formations ayant des finalités et des conditions d'admission différentes. Si le diplôme du baccalauréat (son équivalence ou sa dispense) est la condition nécessaire pour accéder à l’ensemble des formations supérieures, il n’est pas pour autant une condition suffisante pour certains types de formation. On peut donc distinguer :
- les formations auxquelles on accède sans sélection à l’entrée : il s’agit des formations universitaires, à l’exception des des IUT et des IUP (voir ci-dessous) ;
- les formations auxquelles on accède par sélection sur la base d’un dossier d’admission : les classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CPGE), les sections de techniciens supérieurs (STS), les formations dispensées dans les instituts universitaires de technologie (IUT), dans des instituts universitaires professionnalisés (IUP), dans les instituts universitaires de formation des maîtres (IUFM) et dans les écoles spécialisées ;
- les formations auxquelles on accède par concours d’admission dispensées dans les grandes écoles.
En application du décret du 8 avril 2002 , l’ensemble des établissements d’enseignement supérieur et la plupart de leurs formations sont structurés en trois cycles d’études (Licence, Master et Doctorat) et en crédits ECTS, en accord avec les principes du Processus de Bologne. L’année académique est organisée en semestres.
La gouvernance du système est assurée par une politique contractuelle mise en place par l’État avec les établissements, dotés d’une autonomie administrative et budgétaire ; elle a beaucoup évolué au cours des dernières années, sous l’influence de la loi du 10 août 2007 relative aux libertés et responsabilités des universités et la loi n°2013-660 du 22 juillet 2013.
Cette dernière crée les Communautés d’universités et établissements (ComUE) autour desquelles est désormais structuré et simplifié le système d’enseignement supérieur. La réforme se traduira par la signature de contrats de site entre le ministère chargé de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche et les établissements regroupés, à la place des quelques 160 contrats bilatéraux avec des établissements d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche jusqu’ici en vigueur. La trentaine de contrats au niveau des sites résultera d’un processus auquel seront associées les collectivités territoriales impliquées (régions, départements et métropoles), et les acteurs du monde socio-économique.
Le contrat avec le ComUE définit dans une perspective pluriannuelle les priorités partagées par les établissements dans le cadre d’une véritable stratégie de site et détermine les modalités de délégation des compétences des établissements du site vers la nouvelle structure de regroupement retenue parmi celles offertes par la loi.